1. DOWNTOWN: Come early to find a good place to watch at the starting line or just hang out, talk with mushers, admire the dogs or eat a grilled hot dog and listen to the announcer count down each team's departure. The most exciting spot on the ceremonial trail is the corner of Fourth Avenue and Cordova Street, where teams buzz around the soft, snowy turn at speeds that occasionally spill the sled and its rider — this is prime real estate.
2. CORDOVA STREET AND 16TH AVENUE: Now that the crowds have thinned out and the teams are out of the din of downtown, mushers can be a little more responsive to fans who wish them good luck.
3. CHESTER CREEK GREENBELT: This is as intimate as it gets — some stretches are so quiet you can hear the dogs' feet and runners of the sleds cruising along the snow in the distance. But it's also close quarters along this trail, so be sure to give teams and drivers plenty of room to pass and, again, keep your dogs at home.
4. GOOSE LAKE PARK: This is tailgate central, where folks picnic and party while teams pass by. The environment is festive but definitely dialed back compared with the madness downtown.
5. TUDOR ROAD OVERPASS: Take your last urban chance to check out the dogs before they disappear into the woods — and traffic on Tudor Road in early afternoon is as urban as it gets around these parts. Just be sure to set up on either side of the overpass, not on the overpass itself; that space is reserved for the dogs.
6. CAMPBELL AIRSTRIP: Some of the best in-Anchorage opportunities to see Iditarod dog teams running in their native setting. Excellent viewing is found along the forest-lined Campbell Airstrip, near the Campbell Creek Science Center, and at BLM offices where mushers will pack for their trip to the restart in Willow. Take advantage of the free parking at the Abbott Loop Ballfields and use the shuttles to take you within a "bones-throw" of the racers. Plus, the Science Center will be serving up hot drinks and a chance to see exhibits about the Iditarod National Historic Trail.